This paper presents a robust displacement sensor with nanometre-scale resolution over a micrometre range. It is composed of low cost commercially available slotted photo-microsensors (SPMs). The displacement sensor is designed with a particular arrangement of a compact array of SPMs with specially designed shutter assembly and signal processing to significantly reduce sensitivity to ambient light, input voltage variation, circuit electronics drift, etc. The sensor principle and the characterisation results are described in this paper. The proposed prototype sensor has a linear measurement range of 20 μm and resolution of 21 nm. This kind of sensor has several potential applications, including mechanical structural deformation monitoring system.